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January 6, 2013

General Motors Debuts All-New 2014 Pickups

It may be the most important introduction in GM history. The full-size pickup is so important to GM fortunes that the launch of the 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 and the GMC Sierra 1500 is critical to the future of the company.

The 2014s, recently unveiled at a press gathering, show a range that is big and bold, although hardly revolutionary. It may be, however, that when they go on sale late in the second quarter, they’ll fulfill the dual tasks of work and play just a bit better than the competition and help assure GM’s future.

The trucks at the Detroit launch didn't look particularly distinctive. They have big grills sporting lots of chrome and huge wheel openings, displaying the usual 20- or 22-inch wheels. The conventional four-door extended and crew cabs are the stuff of modern, full-size trucks. But the execution may be enough to pull it off.
Those doors, for instance, now fit flush into the openings with triple seals. Along with an all-new frame and cab structure featuring hydroforming for the former and high-strength steel for the latter, they should produce the super-quiet interior promised at the launch.

All-new engines, albeit with the familiar displacements, promise to offer more performance and economy. Plus the latest in connectivity with as many as five USB ports certainly presents a new product to eager GM truck buyers who have been tempted with equally fully featured competitors as GM gets these new models into the pipeline.
Still, it won't be smooth sailing for GM. The company has overstocked dealers with its waning models in an effort to keep the standard flying as it readies the new models for the market. Those trucks have to be shoved through the system before buyers get the new Silverado and Sierra. The danger is that prospective customers will take the inevitable deals on the old stock, meaning slack sales for the new products when they come on stream. GM says the 2500 and 3500 heavier-duty models will continue, as they were refreshed for the 2011 model year.